At the Movies
I remember my mother sneaking candy and sodas
in her purse past the Circle 6 box office,
me handing the tickets to the usher
and entering the dark cave
with its silvered glyphs on screen,
but that doesn’t matter.
I’d study the movie listings
like the betting line for the race track.
What will it be this week, E.T?
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?
Poltergeist? While other girls
collected Barbie dolls I collected
ticket stubs. On Sunday afternoons
you’d find us slumped in our
orange and yellow cinema seats
hiding our eyes in our hands—as if that ever worked.
Now, I ignore the actors with their
overhyped breakups and televised makeups,
the massive salaries and big studio budgets,
which translates into $10 tickets and $20 popcorn
for you and me. What matters is the end
when the credits role, the moments before
the house lights shine us back to life,
that moment when I can’t remember
who I am and what I stand for.
It is the drama and the theater of it all.
It is me and my son, just like me and my mom,
watching the world end and begin again,
our hands greasy from hot buttered popcorn.